Day 13: New England

I woke to a stunning sunrise after quite possibly 24 hours of sleep. Destroying out of control record obsessed newsreaders takes it out of the girl and I was looking forward to exploring my new surroundings. I did not have much chance as there were twenty or so local folk standing with pitchforks and flaming brands.

“Burn the witch,” one of them said ? something that had not been said to me since I was surrounded by a local branch of the Camden Musicians Union.
“Her type is not wanted around here.”
“Good morning townsfolk,” I said in my cheeriest, non-sing-song manner.
“Burn her.”
“Now, now. Unless you are all members of The Killers, what have I ever done to you??
“We saw you coming in on your flying bed, witch.”
“Any minute now you?ll be pottering around town, as innocent townsfolk get murdered and fingering the police-chief,” another said.

I must admit I was at a loss. I almost asked for someone to please explain the reason for this strange behaviour, but then realised that my puzzlement should never push me to quoting Duran Duran songs. It was only when another mumbled something about a broomstick that it dawned on me.

“Oh, I see. Flying bed, pottering about solving murders. You must think that I am Angela Lansbury. So would I be right in deducing that you are all Americans and your brains have been addled so much by watching too television and hence you cannot tell the difference between real life and fiction. You also seem to be blurring Lansbury?s role as a dotty witch in Bedknobs and Broomsticks with her admittedly implausible role as Jessica Fletcher in mid-Sunday snoreathon Murder She Wrote. Admittedly preferable top Chaka Demas & Pliers song of the same name, but not much.”

“Indeed we are in America, New England to be precise, and you are under arrest.”
“Arrest? What for?”
“Flying an unauthorised bed in US Airspace. And I am sure there is something suspicious about a haughty British woman who is covered in blood.”

He had a point. Lawley had spilled a fair bit of claret on me. I let them take me away to their prison. At least I would get some food.


Five things about the first line of A New England:
I was twenty one years when I wrote this song, now I?m twenty two now and I won?t be for long
a) Kirsty Macoll did not write that song
b) Billy Bragg wrote the song, but he did not write that line which was nicked off of Simon and Garfunkel
c) Who themselves nicked more than the idea from Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Sixteen going on Seventeen” from the Sound Of Music
d) When you think about it, the line ? wherever it comes from ? is logically impossible. Because if you accept the fact that the lyrics are a integral part of the song, he cannot of written it at twenty one, if he is twenty two now
e) It’s a load of useless toss isn’t it?

Specifically the Macoll version, which is no worse than the Bragg original but got in the charts and cleverly changed the sex of the protagonist because Macoll was obviously some kind of homphobialist. “I don’t want to change the world”: always a rather selfish standpoint which maybe she regretted when the world had its revenge on her and smashed her upside the head with a motorboat.

Oh and is Billy Bragg really not looking for a New England? Could have fooled me with his constant rants about reforms in the House Of Lords. I’ll give him reforms in the house, I’d kick him out and into the streets. See where your estuary vowels and rudimentary knowledge of two chords will get you.